Update 33 Beta: Seen It, Still Working on Believing

scales

Cordovan was banking on completing Update 33 on Legendary Elite, solo, armed with only a Club of the Holy Flame, when he posted on Twitch TV a preview of the update’s expected changes recently. Teacher Saekee showed another thread with a clearer view of Cordovan’s notes.

They’re all expected live (per Cordovan’s forum update on the matter, not the video) around Wednesday, October 12 on Lammania.

Since I dominantly play the Monk class, I’m sure a few folks want my take on it. I had some early reservations about expected changes. Now that there’s public, official but beta release notes, I can speak up.

The problem is that the changes are rather comprehensive and numerous, so I’ll concentrate on how they affect what builds I have and come back to finer points as they apply.

Changes to my Shintao Monks

Lynncletica and Syncletica will see their handwraps change into a type of Exotic weapon, with 1d6 as their starting damage.

I don’t know if a completely unarmed (that is, not wearing handwraps) Monk still sees damage through their hands in the current way.

Any DR bypassing provided by the enhancements for unarmed Monks will apply through the new handwraps.

It’s not clear to me why this change was made, save for increasing possible damage and to provide the option to make Green Steel handwraps. I find the latter answer a load of malarkey since several quest chains now create handwraps from ingredients, Thunder-Forged handwraps included. Why the Shroud’s building mechanic didn’t follow the same principle has always confused me.

Stances get a few changes. For starters, the +1 critical hit multiplier in the upper Mountain stances move to the Fire Stances. I guess this is logical as Fire Stance increases STR, which is the attack modifier, so greater damage will come from this change. The downside (and a balance I approve) is that higher damage is offset by a reduction in WIS if using Fire Stance. Lynn will still use Mountain Stance as a guardian for its protections but this does invite a new build that punches harder than any other.

Ocean Stance’s Dodge bonuses are enhanced to 3,6.9 and 12%. This change is weird. It’s ridiculously easy to add Dodge to a Monk. I would’ve rather seen increases to all saves in a similar scale.

Wind Stance received no changes to its bonuses to Doublestrike or attack speed or defenses. Syncletica remains a glass cannon.

“Form Ki” moves are mentioned. I presume we’re speaking of the elemental strikes. These attacks are scaled by Melee Power. I’m fond of this as it encourages people to use finishers and elemental attacks, if my presumption is right. Likewise, elemental strikes scale with melee power, and provides me with similar confusion.

And attack-based finishers deliver 1[w] damage. Not bad.

As well, Fists of Light itself delivers 0.5[w], 4d6 Light damage, and overall damage, including Vorpal-calculated strikes, scale with Melee Power. Nice news when bashing skeletons and others more effectively, especially since the Monk’s Bludgeoning damage is resisted by many enemies.

Vorpal Strike now works with handwraps. It wasn’t working before? Thankfully I haven’t bothered to use this feat lately, and there are Vorpal handwraps, anyway.

Some other cool changes: Shining Star, the Otto’s finisher of Earth/Wind/Fire (get it?) will use WIS and not CHA as its modifier. A new build idea just dawned in my head immediately, although this finisher is granted only at level 20. It would’ve been nice if the feat’s minimum level was lowered to 12 or 15. Similarly, the remote stun enhancement Kukan-do will also use WIS and not CHA for it’s DC.

Some great news for Lynn’s healing: Healing Ki now heals 1d4 per Monk level, instead of per 2 levels. 

Lastly, in the “WTF!? You’re Confusing Us!” category is “Moment of Clarity.” The description says that it’s “bonuses now stack (a former Insight bonus).”

What the devs may be forgetting (and have since the initial enhancement change) is there are two Moments of Clarity in-game. The release notes clearly mention the Harper Agent enhancement’s ability to increase tactical and spell DCs by +10 for ten seconds.

The original Moment of Clarity was a granted Monk feat, a finishing move (Light/Void/Light: Bonuses to attack rolls and skill checks to nearby allies). It’s been all but permanently broken ever since the Void Strike feat was removed with the first enhancement pass and placed in a remarkably useless tier 5 enhancement when the Henshin Mystic enhancements arrived years ago. Removing Void Strike also broke the Ninja Spy’s charming finisher, Curse of the Void.

Can we PLEASE get a Lesser Void Strike feat restored to reactivate the Moment of Clarity (and the dark Monk’s Curse of the Void) finishers without having to train a Mystic? Please? It doesn’t have to even cause more than 1 point of Force damage. Just restore that finisher with a simple optional feat, or rip it out of the granted feats. It’s tiresome to see something we cannot use–and, based on the notes, making Mystics will still not be worth it to me to get Void Strike or play them in general (more later).

More Shintao specific changes in their tree begin with +1 to-hit and attack for each trained Elemental Curative. Similarly to changes in the Ninja Spy’s tier 5 Ninjutsu, you no longer need to train all Elemental Curatives to get Rise of the Phoenix, the self-resurrection ability. Switching places with Phoenix is Empty Hand Mastery, which changes from a die damage of 1d6 to 1d8 to a +1 Competence bonus to critical hit modifier and threat range.

The defensive PRR boosting Iron Skin works for any stance. A small win for Wind Stancers like Syncletica and Ocean Stancers like the Zen archers and the Poison Master. Likewise, Violence Begets Violence also works for any stancean additional concession to make the Shintao tree give less favoritism to tanking.

The fourth Shintao core, Touch the Void Dragon, now becomes an untyped stacking bonus to all ability scores, and the final core enhancement, To Seek Perfection, goes from +2 to +4 WIS.

The changes to the Tainted strikes confuse me in terms of role play (the Shintao specialized in damaging any Outsider), but I can live with the adjustments. All abilities that affected Tainted creatures now affect all enemies, including the ability to encase any enemy in jade and debuff anything with Jade Strike, Tomb of Jade and Smite Tainted Creature. The change is like giving Rangers a Favored Enemy range to “everything,” but who am I to judge?

Lastly, Meditation of War’s effects will now become untyped and stack with similar effects.

Changes to the Poison Master, Zen Archer and Bowmaster

The Zen Archer build I put together (as well as her opposite, the Zen Bowmaster) are based in part on elements from the Ninja Spy tree. Of course, the melee Poison Master is wholly ninja.

My largest worry in the rumored enhancements were that the devs would make changes to the one tree that was generally versatile and perfect out of the gate in the first pass. The Zen Archer and the Poison Master are based on some items from teacher Firewall’s original Shuricannon. The Bowmaster has only a “splash” of Ninja Spy for use of its Shadow Veil incorporeality but is primarily a Elven Arcane Archer that really loves a recent enhancement pass update there.

Thankfully, what changes I read for the ninjas seem not only acceptable, but very welcome.

For Ryncletica the sword wielder, the Fists of Darkness’ effects now scale with Melee Power.

There were several incomplete notes about changes to basic finishing moves. Using Cordovan’s notes, I think I can guess what’s to be changed.

The Gathering Storm and Raging Sea finishers has had their WIS DC modifiers raised from 10 + WIS modifier to 15. These aren’t commonly used finishers, even by me.

Replacing the rather underwhelming Crippling Strike enhancement (which did the same  as the Rogue version) in tier 5 Ninja Spy is the new Deadly Striker. With any weapon other than handwraps or quarterstaves, you gain +1 to critical hit modifier range, with kamas and shuriken get double the bonus. Yay for both Shuricannons and Saekee’s hyper-crit-range Forester’s Brush Hook build. (Most of the Ninja Spy changes affect all weapons except the new handwraps and quarterstaves.)

The ninja also gets a tier 2 Action Boost to Melee and Ranged Power. Happiness for all the builds I use, especially the Zen Archer, which is all about Ranged Power.

It kept getting better to be ninja. The first and second core enhancements, Ninja Training and Advanced Ninja Training, now apply to ANY weapon (again, except handwraps and staves) you can use while Centered.

This is BIG for the Zen builds as this means that neither absolutely require the Elf for the Grace enhancement to deliver Dexterity-to-Damage for longbows (but still needs the racial tree for weapon proficiency), and also means you can get these bows working far earlier in the build’s life. I’d still likely recommend Elf for weapon proficiency, the extra training available there to longbow damage, Dragonmarks for Displacement, and Doubleshot. But this changes saves a few Action Points you can reapply in other trees.

And here’s an obscure bonus I see as a benefit of this change. There is a singular named weapon that’s not a kama, shuriken, handwrap, quarterstaff or bow that Monks can wield while staying Centered and without being a Kensei. It’s the Midnight Greetings kukri. Melee ninja such as Ryncletica can use them more effectively since DEX-to-Damage will be activated.

However, the Monk class’s Martial Weapon Proficiency includes only handaxes (something only the Kensei could use right now) by default, so a precious feat must be added for proficiency in this special kukri. While the Heroic weapon isn’t very special, the classic Epic version of the weapon can do some serious work in early Epic lives. Requiring the feat for proficiency may not be worth it, and goodness knows how hard it is to gather the seal, scroll and shard ingredients needed to make any classic Epic crafted item.

Ninja Poison now scales with Melee Power. I’ll really want to see how the Poison Master build will work with this change–it’s all about stacking Poison DoTs. The little-used Poisoned Darts gain more Poison per stack (1d8), but that’s still welcome.

Here’s more. The final core enhancement, Ninja Master, adds +2 DEX and +2 WIS, with +1 Competence bonuses critical hit changed from range to threat modifiers (except for handwraps or staves). I can imagine Saekee just fainted: His Brush Hook build may get a threat range of 10-20 now.

More happiness for the Poison Master, as Poison Exploit’s damage rises to 1d10+10 per Ninja Poison stack.

Also, the Touch of Death negative energy strike scales to 200% Melee Power, and no longer requires you to train the Ninjutsu components to get it. It’s still a tier 5 ability, but for those that don’t care for Ninjutsu, it’s a build option.

Very happy change to Shadow Double. While its stacking Doublestrike bonus was decreased from 100% to 50%, its duration is doubled to 12 seconds, gains 3[W] in damage and has a shorter 20 second cooldown.

And it keeps getting better. Matching the Rogue Assassin tree changes, Stealthy and Faster Sneaking are merged and require 3 AP to fully activate. Also, the melee threat reducing Subtlety will be moved from tier 2 to tier 1, while the Dodge cap, Concentration boosting Ability requires more commitment in Ninja Spy as it moves up to tier 2.

Last but not least, each tier of Ninjutsu is cheaper to activate, with just 1 AP, but also gives +1 to to-hit and damage with all Centered non-handwrap/quarterstaff weapon for each trained enhancement.

I was hoping the Ninja Spy wouldn’t be nerfed. A good thing will actually become better. Yay!

Changes to the Henshin Mystic: Disappointing

For every silver lining in the notes, however, there’s more ominous clouds looming in confusing and contradictory changes for the Henshin Mystic.

The biggest changes to the Mystic is the removal of Spell Power for its damage boost to its Fire and Force damage. Instead, all core enhancements grant a stacking equivalent of Melee Power bonus. This is confusing to me because, of all the Monk classes, the Mystic’s original design was to leverage ki offensively like no other. Instead, the changes simply add in passive offensive boosts to a class that was doing just fine when swinging the staff, but had limited means to weaponize ki when using it.

Here’s a confusing one from the notes, which I must assume is in error. Sounding Staff now gives +2 ki per hit (removing the Implement bonus for Spell Power) and grants the Quick Draw feat. Uh, doesn’t the Quick Draw feat grant increases to rate of fire for ranged and thrown  weapons, not attack speed to the Mystic’s primary weapon, the quarterstaff? Is this feat supposed to augment the Ki Bolt ranged attack, which also gets a boost per Monk level rather than every two levels?

(Update: Teacher Ziindarax, a member of the Player’s Council, corrected me on a mistake in the Ninja Spy tier 5 and noted the logic of Quick Draw. “Quick Draw does benefit weapons, but it’s also being buffed so that you can actually attack faster after casting a spell or spell-like ability. Presumably, this would mean (for example) that if you had a warlock that used the Eldritch Burst or Spirit Blast abilities, and then tried to use a regular attack immediately afterwards, you would not suffer that irritating delay between the SLA and your regular melee/ranged attack. Instead, you get to attack instantly. Just to answer the question posed in your article as to how Quick Draw would benefit a Henshin Mystic.”)

The last core enhancement, Serenity, no longer gives Spell Power-related effects, goes to +4 WIS and adds +25 Melee Power.

Still trying to make the old original Ninja Spy enhancements useful, each Elemental Word gains 2{W} and +2 stacks to Vulnerability per hit. I guess the Melee Power bonuses to the elemental ki strikes used here might make for some great boosts to total damage.

Also, Void Strike remains at tier 5, virtually inaccessible to any other Monk, but gains 3[W] and its Force damage scales to Melee Power.

Some AP reductions to Mystic Training and Embrace the Void (not “Voice” as shown in the notes), requiring 1 AP to train. Also, the damage bonuses to Focus stack with other sources.

Lastly, the complicated Every Light Casts a Shadow enhancement now delivers 1d2 negative levels immediately on-hit to surrounding enemies, and 1d4 to the target.

That’s it for the Mystic. No attack speed or defense improvements.Spell Power-based attacks such as Incinerating Wave and  Cauldron of Flame aren’t mentioned in terms of what damage they create since the Spell Power boosts are being ripped out of the tree. Worthless enhancements like Negotiator and Mystic Training still remain. And you’ll still need to splash a Rogue to gain attack speed bonuses or (cheaper) Shintao abilities for defense.

I loved the potential of the Mystic’s attack power (and gushed about it here long ago) but it still lacks highly important defenses as it generates a terrible amount of aggro and cannot withstand such damage as Shintao Monks can do. I don’t see myself returning or recommending the Mystic unless there’s a way to improve defense and attack speed without multiclassing or using excessive AP in other Monk trees.

Until then, my two Mystics remain bank characters.

What Do You Think?

If you could make suggestions to the devs (and I dare say you should try), what would you ask them to adjust for these proposed adjustments to the Monk enhancements?

While the Shintao changes are good, and the Ninja Spy unbelievably improved, the Mystic’s adjustment make little sense other than improving its “El Kabong” mentality and further distancing its potential ability to wield ki for greater offense, defense or speed.

Fire away in the comments here.

 

Advertisements

27 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Saekee
    Oct 10, 2016 @ 12:50:55

    heya. The ninja changes are great–I think the capstone should have more oomph and I don’t see melee power actually in any of the enhancements. The sting is a huge boost and I think drow ninja will be hot, if only they would lower the huge AP costs for drow venomed blades. (My main has a pair of epic midnight greetings but I can’t say they are worth building around–only really good in lower epics. Even the brush hooks have gotten outdated with the new endgame stuff although I managed to keep a pair of EE ones I bought off the ASAH. But I am playing assassins now and need to finish my difficult nude run.)

    The henshin remains at its best with single weapon fighting so that with PSWF void strike will proc on 10% of its attacks. So one out of 10 uses annihilates non-bosses. Who needs a staff?

    I am uninterested in the unarmed stuff…

  2. Paisheng
    Oct 10, 2016 @ 13:47:02

    Your assessments are on target for Spy, however, I think the Shintao core and in particular the capstone is still weak. All the trees need more defensive buffs including prr, mrr (especially) and dodge cap needs to be raised more than the one enhancement. All the cores should get one of these defensive buffs. Shintai should get prr like +2 per core and additional +20 at cap. Henshin should get the mrr buff in their core in the same way (as mystics that makes most sense). And the Ninja Spy would get +2 dodge cap per core with +10 at cap as this blends well with them.
    Finally you are asking for more speed with Henshin without cross training to rogue for staff enhancements– but all monks deserve more speed! Replace their new action boost for melee power in Henshin tree with the haste action boost that Rogues already have as well as fighters. Monks special niche as a melee fighter is not to be the most powerful, but the fastest. They shouldn’t have to cross train to get haste action boost.

    I like the devs changes otherwise.

    • teachersyn
      Oct 10, 2016 @ 19:41:54

      Knowing how the devs tend to see classes, I’d say that the Shintao has a good balance in defense. Remember that, while Fighters have far higher capacity and options of AC and PRR, they also have hardly any Reflex (Evasion) , spell resistance or miss-chance, which are key elements in defense. The Monk gets both. My Monk now has around 130 PRR, or around 55% reduction, which, combined with other effects, makes for a more nimble fighter. While I wouldn’t ask anyone to fight in Wind Stance for long, its movement and attack speed is better than any class. Monks hardly need PRR with Improved Evasion and spell resistance, although Sheltering items add some MRR anyway. So we can’t get what they have, but then nor should we. I survive many things that others can’t. But, if I could add any new enhancement, it would be extra DR against one damage type. Monks have a hard time against Slash damage. I agree on not having to crosstrain. Nothing stops a Wind Stance Mystic to gain more speed, but then their defense is really vulnerable.

    • Marik Zilberman
      Oct 11, 2016 @ 06:33:10

      +2 dodge per core plus 10 for the cap is too much. 30% is already almost every 3rd attack dodged. What you’r suggesting would be about every 2nd attack, (assuming someone can fill all that cap).
      Although the MRR\PRR idea is fine.

  3. FuzzyDuck81
    Oct 10, 2016 @ 15:56:39

    A few thoughts

    Earth stance – either increase the amount of PRR boost, or maybe look back to how it was before and add a little DR as well as the PRR, if possible even making it stack with the 20/epic that pure monks get at level 20. That’d really help emphasise it as the resilient tanking stance. Having it allow deflect arrows proc more frequently could be good too – once per 6sec is nice, but tempests & vanguards can have it as often as every 2secs.

    Wind stance – Have the master & grandmaster tiers grant smokescreen (20% concealment, but typed as that granted by cloud spells so trueseeing doesn’t bypass it) could be a good defensive boost I think. Alternatively (or even additionally), maybe a knockdown guard effect for master & grandmaster, or you could slot in the more frequent deflect arrows procs here.

    Water – the dodge increase is a nice amount & could potentially save a gear slot/APs if you’re water stance focussed, but maybe step it down to +2/4/6/8 increasing both current dodge and dodge cap would be better and in keeping with the water stance being all about flowing movements and evasion.

    Now that ethereal effects are in the game, I’d like to see empty body changed to the shadow phase effect that lets you pass through enemies instead of being a copy of shadow walk.

    For henshin mystic, I’d have liked to see them be much more focussed on the ki angle, maybe ditch the current effects of the elemental words line & have them give modifiers to the matching elemental finishers to make them more powerful/harder to resist, or replacing them with ki-powered spell like abilities – nothing too powerful but more utility based, in keeping with the idea of monks being totally self-reliant.

    In addition to the above, here’s an idea for a new tier 5 ability in HM;
    Ki Absorbtion – gain charges of spell absorbtion equal to monk level. Cost: 100 ki. Duration 30sec plus 3sec per monk level. Cooldown 4mins.
    It’d be something really unique to them as a defensive capability & in keeping with the HM being very spirit/magic connected.

    • teachersyn
      Oct 10, 2016 @ 19:44:38

      I love the idea of using ki to mitigate all damage for a time. It would drain like crazy especially during battle, but it buys time. Nice ideas. I’m really fond of throwing away those Elemental Words as they were worthless for the original Ninja Spy and aren’t useful now. Ideas like these would be a better fit.

      • Marik Zilberman
        Oct 11, 2016 @ 06:30:44

        With ki regeneration and 2 ki per hit, the regeneration range is too high. After the update I lost acces to my Frozen Tonic (it was level 16 reduced with a masterful shard, and the change returned it to level 16), and my ki pool felt the change.
        Well, at least now I can use it again…

    • FuzzyDuck81
      Oct 11, 2016 @ 13:24:24

      Bit more thought about the improved elemental finishers… basically take a similar approach to what was done with arcane archer elemental arrows imbue, so you can improve the effects of a single finisher by multiple tiers, or multiple different finishers to lesser (but still improved) tiers. The finisher’s ki cost would increase by 2 points per extra tier added.

      3x Earth: The Trembling Earth – figure even if you don’t shut down their spellcasting completely, the trembling thing could still have some lingering effect, and shaking the earth beneath you on top tier seemed fun
      1st tier – even on successful save, enemy suffers 10% spell failure chance for 30sec
      2nd tier – even on successful save, enemy suffers 20% spell failure chance for 30sec
      3rd tier – even on successful save, enemy suffers 30% spell failure chance for 30sec
      4th tier – finisher also casts Tremor (as the druid bear form spell)

      3x Air: The Gathering Storm – ok, this is the one i had the most trouble with, so went with just improving the basic effect for now.
      1st tier – enemy to-hit penalty is increased to -4
      2nd tier – enemy to-hit penalty is increased to -6
      3rd tier – enemy to-hit penalty is increased to -8
      4th tier – Finisher also produces a lightning motes effect

      3x Fire: Breath of the Fire Dragon – Let’s make them a real dragon monk at top tier 🙂
      1st tier – damage dice increased to (1d6 +2) per monk level
      2nd tier – damage dice increased to (1d6 +4) per monk level
      3rd tier – damage dice increased to (1d6 + 6) per monk level
      4th tier – damage dice increased to (1d6 + 6) per monk level & AoE size increased to that of cone of cold

      3x Water: The Raging Sea – I figured some erosion-based effects here would be good
      1st tier – on successful hit, deals 1d4 untyped damage per sec for 10 sec
      2nd tier – on successful hit, deals 2d4 untyped damage per sec for 10 sec
      3rd tier – on successful hit, deals 3d4 untyped damage per sec for 10 sec
      4th tier – applies corrosive salt (as the greensteel weapon effect)

      I think it’d make lining up and using finishers a lot more rewarding and interesting, particularly in the high-tier content where things are more likely to make successful saves, or the effects (i’m looking at you, gathering storm!) just won’t have much practical effect

  4. DDOCentral
    Oct 10, 2016 @ 22:51:12

    Reblogged this on DDOCentral.

  5. Marik Zilberman
    Oct 11, 2016 @ 06:37:03

    One thing you didn’t take into account: Every time a new poison stack is applied, the damage is applied again. Which means if the enemy has 20 stacks, and you hit him with sting of the ninja and hit for 3 stacks, they take about ~100 damage 3 times. Just like that.
    With the change, it will be avarage of 4 stacks, plus melee power scaling… I think that it will be able to reach 1k in a good day.

    Also, I will once again take the chance to advertise that the ability score damage effects from drop\crafted items work on critical hit for BOTH weapons, even if only one of them has it. Equip it to off hand, with a good crit threat in main hand…

    • teachersyn
      Oct 11, 2016 @ 07:40:23

      I’m not usually great in math, specifically the stacking effects found in effects such as Sense Weakness or No Mercy. But your analysis makes a lot of sense. In fact, it sounds almost as if the melee power addition might make things overpowered. Guess that’ll show up in testing.

  6. theKaineKorin
    Oct 12, 2016 @ 09:44:13

    I still think that KI should be used instead of melee power for damage adjustment for all abilities, as it is meditation and concentration that governs its strengths and not physical attributes. KI levels should add +1 for every 20 or 25 points and a +1 crit for every 50 or so. And it should be based on current KI, so you will be stronger at max KI and weaker at low KI as you are fatigued and weary and need to regain your focus. Physical strength is not an aspect of being a monk ,it is inner strength (focus, concentration, and will) that make a monk a monk. Melee power should not be used for this.

    • teachersyn
      Oct 12, 2016 @ 09:57:17

      I like how you think. I’d rather have a level 12 ability that generates a certain boost to melee power that burns your accumulated ki. It could raise to several levels up to level 2o. Since ki can dissipate quickly, it has a balance. And as you suggested, it fits the theme of the class.

  7. Willibold
    Oct 12, 2016 @ 09:47:01

    Sensei Rei, I am in general pleased with the changes, but would have been delighted had there been a little more in the way of defenses either DR or PRR/MRR but if this is the way it will be then at least monks will once again be more relevant in-game.

    • teachersyn
      Oct 12, 2016 @ 09:59:26

      As I’m playing my Shintao again (and tanking raid bosses) I don’t believe that the Shintao suffers from any serious defense problems. It’s the Mystic that’s really poor at it, and the Ninja Spy should be targeting enemies carefully as a Rogue Assassin does. More on this soon.

  8. Vladrich
    Oct 13, 2016 @ 16:19:35

    Please ignore the mystic currently twitching in the corner…he’s had a rough day.
    I’ve been tweaking my mystic on and off now for about two years and figuring out how to leverage the zaniness of the tree in multiple ways (figuring out how to weaponize spell power and dealing with things that don’t like to burn or are healed by fire, among many tasks), but after playing on the Lan server I’ve realized that mystics are now the two-handed “smash it good” barbarian build of the monk world (with much less HP). Of course with every new redesign comes a period of figuring how how to leverage the new build, but even before the new build I couldn’t burn ki fast enough to avoid it maxing out nearly constantly and it’s even worse now. I’m sure I’ll have more opinions after I play around with it this next weekend, but as of right now I’m considering switching away from mystic when I reincarnate Vlad after the update (I’ve been level 30 for about 6 months now and just farming fame on and off).
    PS: yes, my damage numbers are ugly with the staff and more so with crits, but it doesn’t quite make up for the loss of spell power.

    • teachersyn
      Oct 13, 2016 @ 19:30:16

      I agree. Spell Power was never meant to be at mage levels but it was still very very workable, especially with Potency items all about. I will not likely get as much time (or even care) to explore more of the Mystic’s changes but I’ll try. So report in if you play it and tell us what you think.

  9. Vladrich
    Oct 14, 2016 @ 11:12:10

    Currently I’m running my staff wielding mystic with the Divine Crusader destiny (along with the Scion of the Plane of Fire) and floating at about 360 Fire Spell Power and 380 Force Spell Power with no raid gear (and a handful of pieces needing to be upgraded), which might not be mage levels but gives me a very healthy return for my investment when something needs to burn to death at the end of my staff (scion of fire’s 2d20 bonus fire damage is usually between 100-140 fire damage a swing, let alone when I blast something with my ki bolt, incinerating wave, cauldron of fire, or the crusader’s Consecration). I wasn’t seeing the same returns with melee power in the update and I have a feeling I’m going to need to play on my barbarian-alt a bit to get into the new mindset.
    As of right now the new build I’ve been planning out on paper (“burning blood monk” build leveraging drow, ninja spy poison, and mystic’s fire with a two-weapon kama/shortsword crit-focus) is going on the back burner because of the mystic “update” being planned.

    • teachersyn
      Oct 14, 2016 @ 11:15:25

      Thanks for reporting about that. Sounds a bit disappointing at present. I wish they’d consider a toggle: Melee Power use or Spell Power, all through ki.

  10. Jammond
    Oct 14, 2016 @ 18:49:30

    I must confess that this change makes me see the Mystic more as a way to buff the other trees and playstyle than a standalone/primary, to the point you can almost make even the capstone worth it… just not as a Henshin Mystic. The thought occurring to me is that there is 25 melee power up for grabs in the core of this tree for anyone who needs one of the other capstones and 50 if you don’t.

    With epic power and a ring of prowess you can hit a massive 88 melee power before feats or destinies are added. That is fairly huge by anyone’s standards but doesn’t fit well with the monk we’re all used to. That’s where I see the other trees and their playstyles dictating how the Henshin bonuses will be useful.

    Hitting 100 melee power won’t be an issue if the Mystic capstone is taken, which effectively doubles the impact of your melee attacks. Fists of darkness gets a full benefit for double base damage. Touch of Despair gets 200% benefit for triple damage (750 when the enemy makes their save? Yikes). Sting of the ninja gains full benefit, which, when combined with maxed stacks and the inherent vulnerability to poison involved, means an average of 200 per tick and per critical. Sneak attack gets 150% benefit for 2.5 times base, and ninja spy grants 4d6, plus all the sources of deception (legendary animated rope and slavers helm combine for 33, before the multiplier). Given the focus of a ninja spy, building for a high hide and scion of limbo could add another 30+ sneak attack with solid gearing.

    Alternatively, grab up the cores up through five and go heavy Shintao and stun EVERYTHING and profit off the synergy between massive melee power and helpless multipliers.

    Doubtless there are easier ways to achieve similar results, and it is certainly irritating for an entire enhancement line to become little more than support for the other trees. I just don’t see a better use for Henshin AS IT IS CURRENTLY BEING WRITTEN. Hopefully the make some changes that will alter this. We can always hope.

    • teachersyn
      Oct 14, 2016 @ 22:14:47

      I agree with you. I have to look carefully to find more Ranged Power. Perhaps the critical hit changes will help my archers. I sometimes used Contemplation temporarily until hitting 20 for passive ki, so I’m afraid you may be right that it will be the one tree I cannot use as well as I’d like without multiclassing–the antithesis of this blog.

      • Jammond
        Oct 15, 2016 @ 16:57:11

        I did try to keep my examples of what one could do with Henshin Mystic within the monk class (unless you mean single enhancement line by non-multiclass?), since I know what you’re shooting for with the blog and guide. I apologize for giving the impression I was talking about running a monk non-pure.

        Ranged power seems like it will be much scarcer for a monk than melee power will be, but that said, ten thousand stars and manyshot will give you fairly steady levels of ranged power. My big hope is that bows will now be able to stack ninja poison (and use ranged power if applied via missile weapon) with this update pass. I already see sneak attack numbers around 120-180 when in manyshot/10k stars, and adding on 200-250 in poison damage every 3 seconds and on every crit would just be far too tasty.

  11. Vladrich
    Oct 17, 2016 @ 20:17:20

    What I’ve learned from playing a Mystic is that unlike a Ninja or Shinto is that we excel at dealing damage to groups of foes simultaneously with staves through glancing blows (something that handwraps and one-handed melee weapons can’t replicate except through Cleave or Whirlwind effects) (and holy crap people were whining about cleave not working correctly on the DDO forums the last few days).
    As much as stacking melee power sounds great on a Mystic, melee power to Cauldron and Bolt is making these abilities hit significantly lower (about 25% than my normal) than the normal spell power build, let alone doing nothing about the utter uselessness of Embrace the Void (still absolutely useless at level), Focus (fantastically useless at level because you need to be in a large group and do nothing else to buff everyone else), and Negotiator. Likewise the Elemental Word abilities (which are actually fantastic on a Mystic vs a lot of red named bosses) has been hit with what feels to be a nerf; 10% might not have seemed a lot but it adds up very quickly if you have your fire-based mystic incinerating a single angry target who can’t get rid of the curse (and how easy it is to land the curse in the first place).
    Mystic doesn’t play like the other two monk enhancement trees and I think that is a great thing because it adds variety to how we go about the business of being a monk. Most of a mystic’s useful abilities revolve around attacking more and more targets simultaneously, eventually forcing the targets to endure a somewhat nasty (and easy to upgrade via spellpower) zone of fire just to confront the mystic in melee combat. The problem which has been the Mystic’s bugbear for far too long is how they shoved a handful of near useless abilities into the mystic because they wouldn’t fit into the other two enhancement trees (things that can easily be removed now) and changed to more defensively minded abilities not linked to freaking Meditations (and at 30ki to use Cauldron, would it be too much to ask to remove the Meditation cost, have it deal 1d6 fire damage per monk level every time it ticks every 2 seconds, and have it last for 2 seconds per monk level instead of the current 2 seconds of “EVERYTHING BURNS” as it deals 20d6 damage after standing still for 20 seconds).
    Anyways, working on my post for the ddo forums now that I have this off of my chest.

  12. Trackback: DDOCast 449 – Boots « DDOcast – A DDO Podcast!
  13. Trackback: Godlings and Reaping and Monks. Oh My. – Gamer Geoff
%d bloggers like this: